In the business world, first impressions are crucial, and they often begin with a handshake. The impression you make on people through your handshake has a great influence on how they feel about you.
To add even more weight to first impressions, you only have about five seconds to make a good one. That’s right five seconds! It’s your nonverbal communication, like the handshake, that matters. In fact, research has found that nonverbal cues have more than four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.
First impressions are lasting impressions. The message you communicate with your handshake will set the tone for your relationship. Is your handshake exuding confidence, poise, respect and sincerity? Master the art of the shake by following these five factors.
Degree of Firmness
For men and women, your grip should be firm but not painful to the other person. While you don’t want your hand to feel like a dead fish, you don’t want to crack their knuckles either.
Dryness of Hand
Nearly 3 percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating. Before shaking hands, make sure your hand is dry. It’s perfectly acceptable to dry your hand on a handkerchief or napkin if your palms are sweaty or wet from holding a cold beverage.
Depth of Grip
A handshake is palm to palm. Generally, place your hand so the web between your thumb and forefinger meets the web of the other person’s hand. Your hand remains perpendicular. If your palm is facing up, this may be construed as a sign of submissiveness. Similarly, if your palm is on top, it can be seen as a sign of dominance.
Duration of Grip
The ideal handshake is about three seconds. Don’t rush it; gently pump once or twice, then pull back your hand even if you’re still talking.
While this varies from culture to culture, in North America, you should make eye contact while shaking hands as a sign of respect and sincerity. It also reflects confidence and poise!
Contact Polished, today to fine-tune your first impressions and business etiquette to become more successful in your professional and personal life.